CROCIATI HISTORY - HELLAS VERONA VS. PARMA: DI VAIO'S BRACE AND SACCHI'S FINAL MATCH IN SERIE A

Parma, 12 February 2021 – Out of all the Serie A fixtures we’ve played against Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, there’s one match that stands out in particular: a victory on 1 June 1997, when our team qualified for the Champions League for the very first time.

In addition to that truly historic moment, Parma have beaten Verona on just two other occasions in their own backyard. One of these victories came in the 1960s.

The other, which we are looking back to today as we prepare for our next match at 20:45 CET on Monday 15 February (matchday 22 in Serie A), took place 20 years ago, on Sunday 28 January 2001.

It was the penultimate game of Arrigo Sacchi’s very brief return (he’d only arrived 20 days earlier following Alberto Malesani’s departure) to our dugout and his glittering career as a coach.

After the Verona game, Arrigo took charge of the Crociati for their midweek first-leg clash against Udinese at the semi-final stage of the Coppa Italia. He then resigned due to a stress overload that he could no
longer bear, with Renzo Ulivieri coming in to replace him.

That day at the Bentegodi, he took charge of a team in the Italian top flight for the final time. Against Verona, Parma won thanks to a brace from Marco Di Vaio.

Our striker gave us the lead after 37 minutes, finding the net following a
corner taken by Diego Fuser. Verona goalkeeper Domenico Doardo, who had come on to replace the injured Fabrizio Ferron, wasn’t able to hold Stefano Torrisi’s header, and Di Vaio was left with the easy task of tapping the ball home.

The same player then made it 2-0 with 58 minutes on the clock. After Verona full-back Anthony Seric had failed to stop him with a sliding tackle, Di Vaio fired the ball past Doardo with aplomb.

The home side were then awarded a penalty with just under 20 minutes to go, but Adrian Mutu faile

d to beat Gianluigi Buffon from twelve yards out, sending the ball off target. The spot-kick had been awarded by referee Stefano Cassarà after a coming together between the Romanian and our midfielder Alain Boghossian in the box.

The hosts continued to push forward until the end but weren’t able to finish off the chances they created.

Parma would go on to finish fourth that season, thus qualifying for the Champions League for the second time in their history.

Header: Di Vaio celebrating after scoring. Photos: Sacchi; Fuser in action; Crociati striker Savo Milosevic; Di Vaio's joy after making it 2-0; Boghossian controlling the midfield. Below: the Parma fans at the stadium.

 


HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY: A 'STOLPERSTEIN' DEDICATED TO RENZO CAVALLINA INSTALLED AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE TARDINI

Parma, 27 January 2021 – Renzo Cavallina was a legendary goalkeeper for Parma in the 1940s, both before and after the Second World War.

He played about 50 games wearing the Parma jersey, won a historic derby against A.C. Reggiana (4-0) and was one of the star players in our team’s promotion to Serie B in 1943, after we'd spent a decade in the lower leagues.

“All his fearless saves, his courage, vision and perfect timing, would make the Tardini go wild,” the accounts of the time tell.

Off the pitch, Renzo Cavallina was a soldier and an Italian citizen who, after the armistice of 8 September 1943, refused to enlist for the Italian Social Republic and fight alongside the Nazis.

A brave decision, which led to him becoming an Italian military internee and ending up at the Stalag IIID prisoner-of-war camp in Berlin.

Cavallina survived this arduous experience.

He returned to Italy in the summer of 1945 and resumed his Parma career. On 14 October that year, he found himself in between the sticks again as the Crociati took on Udinese at the beginning of the Serie B-C Alta Italia season.

While his sporting exploits in our shirt have already been remembered in the Ernesto Ceresini Museum, there’s been a new development today, on Holocaust Memorial Day: a cobblestone plaque has been unveiled on Piazzale Risorgimento at the entrance to the Stadio Ennio Tardini. This memorial, which is part of the Stolpersteine project, is dedicated to Cavallina and recognises his heroic resolve as an Italian soldier and citizen.

The Stolpersteine project is an initiative by German artist Gunter Demnig which involves installing plaques to commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution. This is has been done in various countries, resulting in the world’s largest decentralised memorial being created.

Today’s ceremony was organised by the Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Storia Contemporanea, Gunter Demnig, the Jewish Community, the Municipality of Parma, local authorities and Partisan Associations.

Parma Calcio were represented by Stefano Perrone (Chief Operating Officer) and Giuseppe Squarcia (Supporters Liaison Officer).


PARMA CALCIO CELEBRATE THEIR 107TH BIRTHDAY BY BRINGING GIFTS AND SMILES TO THE PIETRO BARILLA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Parma, 16 December 2020 – With Parma Calcio celebrating their 107th birthday today, the Club wanted to celebrate their close bond with the community with a special gesture: bringing joy to youngsters being treated at the Pietro Barilla’s Children’s Hospital.

 

Due to the protocols in place as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, directors, staff and players were unfortunately unable to visit the various departments, but Parma Calcio considered it important to carry on something which has now become a tradition during the holiday season. As a result, a Club delegation paid the hospital a visit.

The Club was represented by Oliver Krause, Vice Sporting Director Alessandro Lucarelli and Medical Coordinator Giulio Pasta. Meanwhile, the Crociati’s official mascot Crozè, who arrived on the team coach, delivered gifts to the medical and nursing staff at the Children's Hospital.

Massimo Fabi, Director General of the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, was there to welcome the delegation and had the following to say: “This visit, which has become a very welcome tradition, is very important for our young patients. We’d like to thank Parma Calcio for the care they show and the genuine community spirit that they have.”

Oliver Krause, who donated an official Parma Calcio shirt to the Director General of the hospital, said the following: “It’s a pleasure to be here. On the day of our 107th birthday, it’s wonderful for us to demonstrate the connection we have with the city of Parma. It’s disappointing that we can’t be here with our players and directly greet the young patients: we would have liked to shown them some friendship and affection. But we’ll certainly do this another time when the COVID-19 emergency is over. And we hope it’ll be over soon.”

Alessandro Lucarelli also commented: “It would have been fantastic to talk to the children being treated in hospital. It’s something that, on a human level, has always given us so much. We’ll definitely come back here to share these emotions."

 


CROCIATI HISTORY - PARMA VS. CAGLIARI IN 2012: THE CROCIATI CELEBRATE THEIR 99TH BIRTHDAY IN STYLE

Parma, 15 December 2020 - When it comes to fixtures between Parma and Cagliari at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, there’s one match that particularly stands out: the Crociati’s epic 3-2 win on 6 March 2005, with Fabio Simplicio scoring a 94th-minute winner during a season that ended with that historic relegation playoff victory over Bologna.

Our next showdown against the Isolani is coming up on Wednesday 16 December (20:45 CET kick-off), a day when we’ll celebrate our 107th birthday.

It’s not the first time that Parma have come up against Cagliari on this very special date: indeed, the two teams met on Sunday 16 December 2012, when the Ducali turned 99 years old.

And it’s precisely that match that we’re looking back on in our Crociati History column today.

Eight years ago, Parma celebrated their birthday in style, running out 4-1 winners against Cagliari in a dominant display.

Taking centre stage that day was Ishak Belfodil, who, in addition to bagging a brace, played a key role in Parma’s link-up play.

However, the match didn’t start well for the Crociati.

Indeed, the away side took the lead on the 20-minute mark through Marco Sau, who, after being picked out by Andrea Cossu, produced a lovely finish to get the better of Nicola Pavarini, who was standing in for the injured Antonio Mirante.

Nevertheless, the Crociati were able to react ruthlessly and immediately: the next attack brought the next goal of the game with 21 minutes on the clock. The young Belfodil scored his first goal of the day, climbing aboveLorenzo Ariaudo to meet Jaime Valdes’ cross and bring Parma level.

The Crociati would have to wait until the second half to net their second after running a few risks towards the end of the opening period. The goal to make it 2-1 came in the 54th minute. Belfodil, in inspired form, went for a lovely lob, only to see Michael Agazzi get back to claw it onto the post. However, the goalkeeper couldn’t stop Jonathan Biabiany latching onto the rebound and tapping it into the net.

Cagliari looked to respond, with Radja Nainggolan, who had come on for Cossu, unleashing a thunderous right-footed volley that was magnificently saved by Pavarini.

The Crociati then extended their advantage after 65 minutes. Our midfielder Marco Parolo, who had been played in by Marco Marchionni, was brought down by the outrushing Agazzi, resulting in a Parma penalty that was converted by Valdes.

But the Ducali weren’t done there: after Parolo had seen his long-range strike palmed onto the post by Agazzi, Belfodil picked up the ball. The Algerian then got the better of two Cagliari defenders with some wonderful skill before curling the ball into the far corner.

With 86 minutes on the clock, Belfodil had put the game to bed with an absolute gem of a goal and Parma’s birthday celebrations had truly begun.

Header: Belfodil and Biabiany celebrate in front of the Curva Nord. Photos: Biabiany celebrates his goal; Valdes scores from the penalty spot; the Chilean midfielder celebrates his goal with his teammates; former Crociati in front of the Curva Nord to celebrate Parma’s 99th anniversary together with the fans. Below: bannersbeing displayed in the Curva Nord.


CROCIATI HISTORY, GENOA VS. PARMA: A LOOK BACK AT LUCARELLI'S WONDERFUL VOLLEY IN 2012

Parma, 28 November 2020 - In 2012, Parma legend Alessandro Lucarelli found the net for the Ducali away to Genoa, a match we’re going to look back on in more detail in our Crociati History column today.

At the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, we’ve only won on three occasions against the Rossoblù in Serie A.

We’ve done so in the past two seasons (2018/19 and 2019/20), while we also ran out winners during the 1993/94 campaign, with Gianfranco Zola inspiring us to a 4-0 win.

On the same pitch, Il Capitano, once a Genoa player, got on the scoresheet on Wednesday 26 September 2012.

His 27th-minute goal wasn’t enough for victory: the hosts equalised through a questionable penalty late on after Ale had been penalised in the box.
Nevertheless, his left-footed finish to open the scoring from outside the box was wonderful, a rare gem from a defender like him.

It came from a corner played in by Jaime Valdès from the right, with our number six meeting the ball on the volley after Ciro Immobile’s header had cleared the box.

He then displayed exquisite technique, directing the ball beautifully towards the bottom corner. Former Parma player Sebastien Frey could only watch as it nestled in the net.

It was a much-deserved goal for Parma, who were compact and solid throughout the first half.

And the Crociati could have even doubled their lead too, with Amauri being denied by Frey.

After the break, Genoa could have levelled matters in the 71st minute from the penalty spot after referee Marco Guida had penalised Daniele Galloppa for an apparent handball in the box.

However, Marco Borriello failed to convert the spot-kick, hitting the post to our goalkeeper Antonio Mirante’s right.

After a coming together between the same striker and Lucarelli in added time, another controversial penalty was awarded. In the 93rd minute, Borriello didn’t miss for a second time.

On Monday 30 November, Parma Calcio and the Grifone will meet at the Ferraris on matchday nine of the 2020/21 Serie A season.

Header: Captain Lucarelli celebrating with Galloppa and Gabriel Paletta after the goal. Photos: Lucarelli's strike for his goal; Parma celebrations; Massimo Gobbi and current Crociati player Juraj Kucka looking for the ball; Cristian Zaccardo and Cesare Bovo, a former Crociati player and a current member of our technical staff, embracing each other; Paletta in defence; Borriello scoring a penalty in added time.   


CROCIATI HISTORY – PARMA 1-0 FIORENTINA, MARCH 1991: A STEP TOWARDS EUROPEAN QUALIFICATION

Parma, 6 November 2020 – Parma’s first match against Fiorentina in Serie A at the Stadio Ennio Tardini ended in a Crociati victory.

We’ve been looking back through past encounters between ourselves and the Viola in Parma ahead of our upcoming match against Iachini’s side at 20:45 CET on Saturday, and we’ve decided to delve deeper into that first encounter. It was just one of a number of impressive results achieved by Coach Nevio Scala’s side during the Crociati’s first ever season in the Italian top flight following their promotion from Serie B the previous campaign. Parma would go on to secure a UEFA Cup spot, the first time they’d be involved in European football.

That amazing journey included this match, which was an afternoon kick-off on Sunday 3 March 1991. And it was won by our captain, Lorenzo Minotti, who, in trademark style, ghosted in behind the Viola defence, met Marco Osio’s delightful free kick and headed past Fiorentina goalkeeper Gianmatteo Mareggini at the far post with 13 minutes on the clock.

It was a goal that he celebrated in front of the Curva Nord, and it was also one which sealed a 1-0 victory. It was a match where Parma also had a bit of luck on their side: Viola attacker Stefano Borgonovo and defender Mario Faccenda both hit the post in the first half for Sebastiao Lazaroni’s impressive Viola team.

After the restart, Osio came close with an effort across goal which forced Mareggini into action. Then, in the closing stages, referee Moreno Frigerio waved away strong penalty appeals after Tomas Brolin had appeared to be fouled by Massimiliano Fiondella.

However, it didn’t matter: the scoreline remained the same and the Crociati picked up a crucial three points.

Header: Captain Lorenzo Minotti during the 1990/91 season. Photos: the Curva Nord during Parma vs. Fiorentina on 3 March 1991.


CROCIATI HISTORY - INTER VS. PARMA: 2-2 DRAW IN 2004, WHICH COULD'VE BEEN A WIN

Parma, October 2020 – During a monumental season in Crociati History, there’s a story of survival won by tooth and nail in 2004/05. Parma Calcio turned up to San Siro in just the right frame of mind to take on Inter, who we had only beaten away from home once - in 1999 - until that point.

With a few hours to go until our next Serie A outing at the home of the Nerazzurri, we would like to relive that game from 16 years ago. The most impressive thing: the spirit, with which our team played despite not having won in three games.

We didn’t quite manage to on that Sunday in September 2004 either, but we were very close. In the Scala del Calcio, we made a great team suffer, forcing them to chase the game and slump to a 2-2 draw.

We took the lead (0-1) in the 17th minute with a fantastic goal from Alberto Gilardino, his first of the season.

Gila freed himself with an extraordinary feat of technique and athleticism.

Marco Marchionni swung in the corner from the right; Gilardino’s volleyed shot on the turn was unstoppable for Inter goalkeeper Francesco Toldo.

Our striker’s celebration contained a hint of controversy, as it was aimed at his critics after a goal drought.

The hosts picked up in the second half after head coach Roberto Mancini decided to play more on the front foot, sending on Obafemi Martins and Alvaro Recoba in place of Christian Vieri and Edgar Davids.

It was the Nigerian striker, who got Inter level in the 71st minute.

He trapped the ball with his right and beat our shot-stopper Sebastien Frey with his left, benefitting from a mistimed jump from our defender Fabio Cannavaro as he tried to clear the ball as it rebounded off the crossbar from Dutch midfielder Ander Van der Meyde’s effort.
Parma, who had squandered many chances to double their lead before the break, got back in front just three minutes later.

Marchionni made a great run into the box to finish Domenico Morfeo’s sumptuous ball forward. Parma were 2-1 up.

Inter rescued a point just before full-time.

In the 82nd minute, it was Oba Oba Martins again for the Nerazzurri. This time he equalised with a left-footed effort from the edge of the box after a one-two with Recoba, which resulted from a move started by former Parma player Juan Sebastian Veron.

Header: Gilardino celebrates with Cannavaro and Matteo Contini. Photos: Gila hailed by Daniele Bonera, Fabio Simplicio and Alessandro Potenza after his goal; Mark Bresciano and Morfeo confront Inter captain Javier Zanetti; Alessandro Budel with Van der Meyde; Contini, on his Serie A debut, marking Adriano; Michionni in action, Recoba contests the ball with Simplicio, his first start for Parma. Below: the away fans at San Siro.

 


NOTICE FROM WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER

Parma, 28 October 2020 - After the 3-1 win against Pescara at the Tardini in the Coppa Italia, Parma Calcio will return to training behind closed doors at Collecchio tomorrow, Thursday 29 October.

The Crociati will begin their preparations for matchday 6 in Serie A, when they take on Inter at San Siro (Saturday 31 October, 18:00 CET).


NOTICE FROM SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER

Parma, 25 October 2020 - Parma Calcio, after today's match played at Stadio Ennio Tardini against Spezia, will resume training behind closed doors at the Centro Sportivo di Collecchio tomorrow, Monday 26 October.

The Crociati will begin preparation for their next match, a Coppa Italia game (Third Round) against Pescara scheduled for Wednesday 28 October (kick off 18:00) at the Tardini.


CROCIATI HISTORY - 1979: PARMA 2-2 SPEZIA WAS A REAL THRILLER

Parma, 23 October 2020 - Of all the Parma vs. Spezia matches played at our Stadio Ennio Tardini, one game, in particular, stands out as unforgettable in Crociati history.

It was played on Sunday 25 March 1979, resulting in a 2-2 draw.

It is worth revisiting this nail-biting draw on the eve of the first fixture between the Parma and the Aquilotti in the top flight, scheduled on Sunday 25 October (kick-off at 15:00 CET) for matchday five of Serie A TIM 2020/21.

Starting off this historic Serie C game, in the 5th minute, Carlo Ancelotti did not do his side any favours by missing a penalty kick awarded by referee Elio Corigliano.

Carletto’s right-footed shot went wide of Spezia goalkeeper Pierluigi Masoni’s right-hand post.

The twenty-year-old enfant prodige, who trained as a boy in Parma’s Youth Sector and transferred to Roma at the end of the season, paid dearly for this costly mistake. The guests immediately took the lead inside 17 minutes with a goal by midfielder David Mugianesi (0-1).

Eight minutes later, Coach Cesare Maldini’s side went down to ten men as Ariedo Braida was sent off.

Despite having one man down, the Crociati equalised (1-1) in the 38th minute.

It was Giovanni Colonnelli who scored, our golden boy of the ‘70s (from 1971 to 1979, 272 total appearances and 20 goals in Parma colours).

After the break, Spezia suddenly found themselves down to nine men, due to red cards for defender Osvaldo Motto and midfielder Maurizio De Fraia.

Despite these two absences, the Ligurian outfit regained the lead in the 69th minute (1-2), with another midfielder, Angelo Seghezza.

A minute later, Corigliano awarded another penalty to Parma, who once more wasted the opportunity. This time it was Pier Paolo Scarrone who didn’t hit the target.

Luckily, the Calabrian referee called for the penalty to be retaken.

Prolific striker Fabio Bonci, who had replaced Giuseppe Giani in the 65th minute, stepped up for the retake.

From eleven metres away, Bonci’s powerful strike exploded into Spezia’s goal, evading Corrado Menconi who had come on for Masoni after the double sending off (2-2).

This thrilling draw represents one of the initial stages of this Parma side’s, with Cesare Maldini at the helm and Ancelotti on the pitch, they went towards their promotion to Serie B, determined by the play-off on Sunday 17 June 1979 in Vicenza against Triestina.

Header: The penalty scored by Bonci in the late 2-2 draw. In the photos: Ancelotti’s missed penalty, referee Corigliano; Ancelotti in action marked by Giampaolo Bonanni; Scarrone misses from eleven metres